Is Dental Blogging Still Important?
Here’s why your blog is still great for patients and for Google too!
Blogging for dental practices first emerged in earnest 8 or 9 years ago when marketers realised that it was a great tool to help promote search engine rankings, primarily led by the SEO team here at Dental Media. Business coaches also started to promote the technique when they caught on to the fact that publishing great content online was an excellent way to show prospective new patients that you were an authority in your field and so a good choice for treatment. So blogging can be a clear differentiator in a few different ways.
But is blogging for dentists still as useful as it was back then and also how has it evolved of the last few years? The answer is an unequivocal “yes” – blogging is still an excellent tool to help with search engine optimisation and to help you stand out from your competitors when people visit your website. So let’s recap on why blogging still works so well and why you should get started for your own practice.
Blogging for patients
Some would say that this is the most important aspect, not SEO; but looking from a marketer’s perspective, I’d say that both elements are equally important. Those of us who have a long history of search optimisation understand that content which works well for humans, i.e. well written and interesting, will usually also work well for Google. The reason is simple in that Google wants to surface the best content for its users and hence tends to promote it to the top of the search results. So in essence, if you write a really useful blog article for your users, there is a good chance that it will also rank well in search engines. There are some subtleties as we’ll see later, but the above principle is a useful one to keep in mind when you do start on your blogging venture.
When a dental practice writes a blog, this serves as a great balance to the more technical type of articles that agencies write on their behalf. So for example, a team member might write an article to announce a new team member or perhaps the latest charity event, whereas the marketer might write about the benefits of dental implants for patients living in a specific location, still informative but certainly with SEO in mind.
The practice written article would typically have a more “human” feel and potentially be a little more engaging than the one written by the marketer, but both types are still important and a good balance between both is the ideal way to proceed.
Other examples of practice generate blogs might be to discuss a new Invisalign or implants open day, introducing staff members, publishing latest offers, discussing new technology and so on. There’s more opportunity than you may think, particularly when you get stuck in.
Blogging for SEO
When we carry out marketing campaigns for dentists, we will publish a blog on their website and then optimise it using various tools to enhance its SEO potential. This doesn’t mean that articles are guaranteed to rank well; however it does mean that all the tools are in place to ensure that each article is well optimised when it is published. We will also provide an instruction document so that dentists and their teams know what to look out for and how to optimise their own articles.
We then carry out a schedule of writing unique, optimised blogs to cover all of the dentist’s treatments with specific reference to location, for example the pros and cons of Invisalign for patients in location ‘X’. We will then create additional new content to explore all of the potential options around the core theme. Each article is excellent in its own right and as such is intrinsically suitable for readers but also great for search ranking.
We optimise further by linking from the article to the main website pages as well as linking out to authoritative third-party websites. We are particularly focussed on ensuring that Google’s publishing guidelines are followed and that all content would meet the scrutiny of the dental legislators should they come across it.
Building up a large body of useful, optimised content in this way, over time, is an excellent way of increasing the footprint and authority of a dentist’s website and improving its Google ranking. The blogs can also be linked in social media posts and from third-party websites where opportunities arise – all excellent for SEO!
How has blogging changed over the last few years?
It used to be the case that “short form” blogs, typically 300 – 400 hundred words, were sufficient to help turn the SEO needle. However, Google started to identify what is known as “thin” content and actually penalised websites where articles were being written specifically for ranking purposes. Too many marketing agencies, dental ones included, were publishing this type of thin content and getting away with it until Google caught up and turned the screw.
Nowadays, any web content needs to be useful and consequently the length of blogs has increased markedly to try to meet these new “quality” criteria. We will typically aim for a thousand words or more before publishing; however it’s not all about word count, the article itself has to be unique and useful. Irrespective of best web practice, we still see dental marketing agencies publishing short-form, sketchy articles on behalf of their clients and in many cases causing more harm than good. If you’re going to blog, you need to do it properly and invest the time accordingly.
How do you get started with your own blogging initiative?
Simply give the team at Dental Media a call on 01332 672548 and we’ll explain all you need. We will build your blog and provide the required optimisation tools and instructions on how to create your own articles. We will also be pleased to create blogs on your behalf as part of one of our monthly marketing options. Ready to get started? Please get in touch today for experienced help and advice.Google+